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Breast Reconstruction

Dr. Cook provides an overview of Breast Reconstruction Surgery and options available for patients.





John Q. Cook, M.D.

Chicago 312-751-2112
Winnetka 847-446-7562

Breast Reconstruction Surgery and Options

In his twenty years on the staff of Rush University Medical Center, Chicago plastic surgeon John Q. Cook has restored a pleasing form to hundreds of patients seeking breast reconstruction.  Patients at Dr. Cook’s Winnetka and Chicago centers benefit from his extensive experience with breast reconstruction options such as tissue expansion, breast implants and the emerging technique of fat transfer. This experience allows him to help patients with congenital breast deformities such as Poland’s syndrome as well as patients who have undergone mastectomy or lumpectomy.  Rush University Medical Center is one of the Midwest’s leading academic medical centers.

Dr. Cook can work in team with one of the oncologic surgeons at Rush to provide immediate breast reconstruction at the time of mastectomy. Breast Surgery represents one of the major areas of Dr. Cook’s interest and expertise. All of Dr. Cook’s work with breast surgery is built on the foundation of his extensive work in the challenging area of reconstructive breast surgery. “One challenge is the creation of a new breast after mastectomy or a congenital problem, but an equally challenging situation is where we must then take the remaining natural breast and shape it to balance the breast that we have created.” says Dr. Cook. In his work at Rush University Medical Center, one of the leading hospitals in the Midwest for breast surgery, Dr. Cook has helped literally hundreds of women rebuild their lives after the challenge of breast absence or deformity. Dr. Cook’s extensive breast reconstruction experience benefits patients seeking elective surgery as well.  For two decades, Dr. Cook has helped his patients enhance their self-image by improving their form.

Breast Reconstruction Overview

Patients who come to Dr. Cook’s Winnetka or Chicago centers for breast reconstruction seek to restore balance and wholeness to their body image.  Breast reconstruction surgery can powerfully affect a person’s sense of well-being.   The techniques of breast reconstruction can be applied to a wide range of patients needs.  Some patients seek immediate reconstruction at the time of mastectomy.  Others may have undergone mastectomy or lumpectomy in the past and are now ready to consider breast reconstruction.  Still other patients experience significant abnormalities of breast shape and position that manifest themselves during the period of breast development.  Patients with Poland’s Syndrome, which may run in families, have a breast with a tight base that is significantly smaller than the opposite breast.  Even during the teen age years the opposite breast is unusually settled, similar to the breast of a woman who has nursed several infants.  In some patients the underlying pectoral muscle is underdeveloped.  Another common abnormality of breast development is referred to as the tubular or tuberous breast.  In this type of breast the base of the gland is constricted and the diminished breast tissue tends to protrude through an enlarged areola.  Another common pattern is congenital breast asymmetry.  Patients with congenital asymmetry have two normally shaped breasts with a marked difference in cup sizes, for example, an A cup on one side and a C cup on the other.

Dr. Cook brings patients at his Winnetka and Chicago centers over twenty years of experience in a wide range of breast reconstruction techniques.  Most of his breast reconstruction surgeries are carried out at Rush University Medical Center, a leading academic medical center which is located just west of Chicago’s “loop,” the central business and financial district.  Rush is one of only three hospitals in the country that has ranked in the top 10 in the University Health Systems Quality and Accountability Study over the past three years.  Rush has long been a leader in the treatment of breast cancer and has one of the oldest medical oncology practices in the country.

For patients who require immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy Dr. Cook works in teamwork with a Rush general surgeon with expertise is surgical oncology.  All members of the practice are aware of the importance of an expedited evaluation, and our schedule is designed so that patients desiring immediate reconstruction will be seen by Dr. Cook within several days of referral.  For patients who are referred to Dr. Cook from outside the Rush system, our staff can arrange for a coordinated consultation with one of our general surgery breast specialists at Rush.

Patients who undergo immediate reconstruction after mastectomy at Rush usually are admitted to the hospital the day of surgery and will spend two nights in the hospital after surgery.  Most other reconstructive procedures can be carried out on an outpatient basis.